Producer Perceptions of the Prevention of Tail Biting on UK Farms : Association to Bedding Use and Tail Removal Proportion

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Valros , A & Barber , C 2019 , ' Producer Perceptions of the Prevention of Tail Biting on UK Farms : Association to Bedding Use and Tail Removal Proportion ' , Animals , vol. 9 , no. 9 , 628 . https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9090628

Title: Producer Perceptions of the Prevention of Tail Biting on UK Farms : Association to Bedding Use and Tail Removal Proportion
Author: Valros, Anna; Barber, Claire
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Production Animal Medicine
Date: 2019-09
Language: eng
Number of pages: 21
Belongs to series: Animals
ISSN: 2076-2615
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/306496
Abstract: Simple Summary Tail biting is a serious behavioural problem in modern pig production which causes both animal welfare challenges and economic losses. The aim of this study was to collect information on the perceptions of farmers on how to best prevent tail biting, and on their attitudes towards tail biting and docking. Further, the aim was to investigate if perceptions are influenced by the specific system of farming, with a focus on different levels of bedding use and different tail docking practices. To achieve the goal, pig producers in the UK were surveyed. The results show that producers rank the importance of preventive measures differently to scientists and other experts. This calls for consideration when communicating with producers, and for further consideration of producer knowledge, which might be based on a more holistic view than that of researchers. The study also shows that the perception of how to best prevent and intervene to avoid tail biting differs between farms of different types, and that these perceptions might be influenced by the farmers' own experiences, which again, might differ between countries and farming systems. Tail biting causes widespread problems both for animal welfare and in the form of economic losses in pig production. This study was performed to better understand the perceptions of farmers on how to best prevent tail biting, and if perceptions are influenced by the specific system of farming, with a focus on different levels of bedding use and docking different proportions of the tail of their pigs. Pig producers in the UK were surveyed on their perceptions of the efficacy of preventive measures and attitudes towards tail biting and docking. In total, 204 responses were included. The results show that producers rank the importance of preventive measures differently to scientists and other experts. This calls for consideration when communicating with producers; and for better integration of knowledge based on practical experiences with scientific results. The study also shows that the perception of how to best avoid tail biting differs between farms of different types, and that these perceptions might be influenced by the farmers ' own experiences-one example being that farms currently using plentiful amounts of bedding also value this more highly as a way to avoid tail biting than those that do not.
Subject: pig
tail biting
tail docking
farmer perceptions
risk factors
DUTCH PIG FARMERS
RISK-FACTORS
DOCKING
WELFARE
INTERVENTION
ENRICHMENT
ATTITUDES
BEHAVIOR
LESIONS
412 Animal science, dairy science
413 Veterinary science
4111 Agronomy
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